Friday, July 21, 2006

A Tomato-free Duck Pizza

I had another Duck pizza at Pizza Al Rollo as I’d enjoyed it so much on M and my last visit back before the Venice and Orient Express extravaganza. I think it tasted even better this time perhaps due to the anticipation of such a lovely pizza creation. I have since discovered that Pizza Al Rollo is part of the Pizza Express family of companies that have a parent company of appropriately named Gondola Holdings. I am intrigued with why they opted to open two more brands of pizza restaurants. Maybe the best sort of competition is another one of your own companies!
I first discovered Duck pizza at the Gourmet Pizza Company at Canary Wharf. It was a regular haunt for a while. It was handy for various clients and had a couple of fine tomato free pizzas. Initially I always tucked into their Leek and Tallegio pizza. This had a great advantage of me not having to go through the 'no tomato, no tomato sauce, no tomato at all' routine. When they got bored with creating that (maybe I was the only one who loved it) I moved to the Duck and Hoisin sauce pizza. And this was a very pleasant pizza for a while until they decided to tinker with the winning formula. On a visit last year with LL cool T and N, I realised to my horror that they'd added an entirely unnecessary tomato sauce layer to mingle with the Hoisin sauce. Okay you may think, this isn't a problem - just order it without the tomato. But when the pizza turned up the base was so crispy that any attempts near it with either a knife or fork caused it to shatter. It wasn’t burnt but had turned into a kind of hard cracker type thing – now a Jacob’s Cream Cracker is a fine thing in its place but not on the base of my pizza. After complaining, they produced another which was equally inedible but the fault was placed at my door as they blamed my tomato hating ways. Now this seemed odd considering their previous forays into the world of tomato free pizzas, and these pizzas had work perfectly. Well, whatever the reason I haven’t returned as I don’t know what affect my tomato avoidance may have on them, so that little avenue of pleasure had been closed. So it was with great delight I realised that a new forward thinking pizza company had introduced a duck pizza and more importantly had eschewed tomato in the composition. And I recall that M had a lovely Crayfish and Crème Fraîche pizza on our last visit that also was devoid of tomato substances. Pizza Al Rollo have proved that it can be done and it’s very good indeed!

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